Common Abbreviations used during Canada Immigration


If you’re applying for your Canadian Immigration application, some of the below acronyms are a must-know! As you go along in the process, you will certainly get familiar with these terms. So here is a ready reckoner for anyone looking to begin their Canadian immigration process.


Acknowledgement of Receipt


Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System.


Community Airport Newcomers’ Network


Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program.


Citizenship and Immigration Canada


Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials


Canadian International Development Agency


Confirmation of Permanent Resident Form


Canada Pension Plan


Certificate du Selection du Quebec (Quebec Certificate of Selection)


Designated Medical Practitioner.


English as an Additional Language


English as a Foreign Language


Employment Insurance (also sometimes referred to as unemployment insurance)


English Language Training/Teaching


English as a Second Language


English for Speakers of Other Languages


English for Specific Purposes


Guaranteed Investment Certificate


Goods and Services Tax

H&C grounds

Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.


former Human Resources Development Canada


Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.


Initial Assessment


International Council for Canadian Studies




International English Language Testing System.


Immigration and Refugee Protection Act


Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations


Medical Services Plan


Non – Governmental Organization


National Occupational Classification


Open Learning Agency


Provincial Nominee Program


Passport Request


Provincial Sales Tax


Royal Canadian Mounted Police


Right of Permanent Residence Fee


Registered Retirement Savings Plan


Social Insurance Number


Skilled Worker Program


Voluntary Services Overseas


Workers’ Compensation Board


Young Men’s Christian Association


Young Women’s Christian Association


Some more common and important abbreviations and what they do:

IRCC - Immigration, refugee & citizenship Canada

The IRCC is responsible for overseeing the entry of immigrants, providing refugee protection, and providing services to assist newcomers in settling in Canada. It also provides citizenship to Canadians and supplies travel papers such as passports.


CIC - Citizenship and Immigration, Canada

This is the umbrella organisation that oversees all Canadian immigration. It has a CIO (Centralized Intake Office) in Nova Scotia and many satellite Canadian High Commission offices (also known as visa offices) around the world.


FSW - Federal Skilled Worker

This is one of the three government programs that Express Entry manages. This program is for talented people with international job experience who desire to permanently relocate to Canada. Minimum qualifications for this program include skilled work experience, language proficiency, and education. To be qualified, you must meet all of the basic requirements.


FST - Federal Skilled Trade

The Federal Skilled Trades Program is for skilled workers who want to become permanent residents based on their expertise in a skilled trade. As long as they can meet the job requirements for that skilled trade as per the National Occupational Classification, and can meet the minimum eligibility criteria, they can apply for the FSTP Program.


CEC - Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class or CEC program is aimed to help foreign workers or students who are staying on a temporary basis in Canada to become permanent residents. It considers their work experience or education and their contribution to Canadian society for granting PR status.


PNP - Provincial Nominee Program

The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) was started by IRCC  to help the different provinces and territories in Canada to select immigration candidates who are willing to settle down in a particular province or territory in the country and have the skills and expertise to contribute to the economic development of the province or territory.


ECA - Educational Credential Assessment

The Educational Credential Assessment or the ECA is required if you have done your education outside Canada. The ECA is required if you are applying for a visa through the Express Entry program to prove that your foreign education degree or credential is valid and is equal to a Canadian degree.


ICAS - International Credential Assessment Service of Canada

Individuals applying for immigration to Canada can use the International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) to assess their educational credentials. The Canadian Immigration Assessment Package will assist you in determining how your education compares to the Canadian education system. When you come to Canada, you can utilise the report to hunt for work or apply for a job.


WES - World Education Services

The WES is a system for assessing degrees and certificates obtained outside of Canada. You can meet IRCC immigration programme standards and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) standards (particularly the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program) criteria with a WES ECA, or you can qualify for IRCC’s Agri-Food Immigration Pilot. The validity of a WES ECA is five years from the date of issue.


CBSA - Canada Border Services Agency

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) helps lawful travellers and trade pass through the country. In addition, the organisation is responsible for enforcing over 90 statutes and regulations.


PRC - Permanent resident card

You’ll need a permanent resident (PR) card when you travel to verify you’re a PR when you return to Canada. Make an application for a PR card or a travel document, request expedited processing, or check the status of your application. You can renew your PR card if it has expired.


SIN - Social Insurance Number

A social insurance number (SIN)  is issued in Canada to administer various government programs. The SIN was created in 1964 to serve as a client account number in the administration of the Canada Pension Plan and Canada’s varied employment insurance programs


e-APR - Application for Permanent Residence

You will have 60 days from the date you receive your ITA to prepare and submit an electronic Application for Permanent Residence (eAPR) in Canada. The online web portal of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is used to submit this application.


GCMS - Global Case Management System

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use the GCMS (Global Case Management System) to process immigration and citizenship applications. The only way for applicants to acquire the most accurate and comprehensive view of their IRCC file is to use GCMS notes.


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We have helped thousands of immigrants complete their Canadian immigration process, and have helped them settle into their new environment. We know that it can be overwhelming, but we will help guide you through your journey, step-by-step.

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Common Abbreviations used during Canada Immigration